French wine and spirits group Belvédère has completed the sale of two soft drinks brands owned by its Marie Brizard unit, according to local reports.

Les Echos reported yesterday (24 September) that Belvédère has divested the Pulco brand of fruit concentrates and Sirop Sport cordial line to Orangina Group for EUR178m (US$251.1m). The sale was completed last week, having been approved by competition authorities, the paper said.

Les Echos said that the sale was prompted by the need to reduce Belvedere's debts. The group had to borrow a substantial sum in order to take over Marie Brizard. At the end of last year, the group had net debts totalling EUR387m, the paper claimed.

No-one was immediately available at Belvédère to confirm the reports when contacted by just-drinks today.

The Pulco range consists of eight different flavours, including orange, lime and grapefruit. The Sirop Sport portfolio is available both as a cordial and a pre-mixed RTD.

Belvédère bought Marie Brizard in 2005, when it secured a 69.3% stake in the company in a deal worth EUR320m.